Drawing on site-responsive creative praxis and archival inquiry, this chapter thinks-with the unremitting negotiations and pulsating exchanges of the littoral. The infinitely spectral, eddying greys of aftermaths and afterlives; the wake-full hues of mourning. Shaped by years of walking and gathering along the shores of the southern African coast and adjacent islands, following multispecies death assemblages. From wrack zones and former sites of the ‘harvesting’ and ‘processing’ of whales, seals, seabirds and guano, to contemporary places of disposal and the African seaports that have served as gateways to the southern high latitude regions. Ingresses into a multitude of waterlogged stories and possibilities for considering past-present-futures in the enduring aftermaths of imperialism, capitalism, extractivism and military-industrial expansion. Smashing against each other during storm swells, surges and flash floods. Or warily to-ing and fro-ing, only just touching. Seeping together at saltwatery edges. Between liquid and solid, like melting sea ice. Inviting amphibious ways of learning and making. Slow, observant re/search that is digressive and faltering, rather than articulate and authoritative. Risks being drenched, engulfed. Disoriented. Undone.


Adrienne van Eeden-Wharton